Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Rhonda posted about lists yesterday and I think this a great topic.  No matter what your life looks like on a daily basis, lists help most of us accomplish what we need to do.  I am a bit of a rebel at heart however, and I OFTEN abandon my list in favour of going with sudden creative inspiration.  I can't tell you how many times I've had project inspiration strike out of the blue sending me WAY off track from my daily list.  I LOVE that though, because the creative energy that inspires me to tackle a project needs to be harnessed!   I simply re-arrange my list to accommodate that productive "intrusion" and enjoy going with flow (which is yet another benefit of working at home).  I have no boss telling me I can't do something ~ I can manage my time how I like.  This makes me much happier and far more productive as a homemaker.

I'm accustomed to daily lists, but I'm going to try Rhonda's suggestion of starting with a weekly to do list.  From there, I'll break it down into a daily list, harvesting tasks from the weekly list as each day demands.  I never bother to include repetitive daily tasks such as laundry, vacuuming, bread making and cooking dinner as they are quite literally ingrained in my everyday routine.  I don't need those tasks written on a list - they happen daily without thinking about them too much.  I focus solely on listing the unique additional tasks that are NOT a part of my every day routines.

At the moment, my weekly list looks like this:

- look online for used water collection/storage vessels and pick up by Friday
- follow up email re: taxes
- call doctor and book appts.
- call homeopath
- call hatchery to confirm pick up date
- finish setting up brooder
- buy chick feed and wood shavings
- call to order prescription refill
- call client re: consulting work & set up meeting
- sow next round of seeds
- add another layer of carbon in the coop
- take paint in to be shaken
- bake lemon supreme pie (Friday?)
- buy beer for weekend
- complete 1/2 of homework assignment
- read assigned material
- find clipboards and set up seasonal records in greenhouse, garage and house
- milk run
- touch up paint in basement
- install raised water barrel IN greenhouse (Sat.)
- begin main production garden bed planting plan
- buy peat moss, vermiculite and castings
- order worms
- set up worm farm
- pick up prize basket at vet office
- order specialty seeds
- attend appt. on Friday
- email re: downsizing garbage pick up
- finalize Costco list for next week
- register for swimming lessons
- book dental appt.
- finish cleaning out the mechanical room and put tools/construction materials away

This list will be added to as I think of things through the week.  I already make my daily to do list each morning, but with this new method, I'll be choosing tasks from the master weekly list rather than thinking them up each day.  I think this new method is much more efficient and also allows for better advance planning.

Other than lists, another key component in my productivity is rising early.  I choose to get up with Kelly @ 4:45am so that we are on the same schedule which is good for our marriage, but also, for the benefit of quiet, uninterrupted early mornings.  I haven't always been in a season where I could do that (pregnancy insomnia, nursing babies & night waking youngsters), but I am now and I quite enjoy it.  I love feeling like I'm organized and ready to take on the day when my children wake.  I parent better and I perform my job as a homemaker better if I'm prepared for the day ahead.

In my days of working away from our home, I was most efficient and productive when I made daily lists.  I recall having to frequently edit them as the duties of my job changed through the day.  Occasionally, a crisis would hit and the list would be altogether abandoned in favour of attending to whatever urgent matter presented itself.  Once that was dealt with, the list remained to help me get back on track after the turmoil of an unexpected crisis/deadline.  Homemaking is like that, too.  Stuff comes up (often, actually), but those lists make all the difference in getting back on track.

With our busy season right around the corner, I'm going to be relying on my lists more than ever.  From seed planting to completing schoolwork and chores, I know I'll be leaning heavily on advance planning and my lists will play an integral part in that.

How about you?  Are you a list person or a fly by the seat of your pants person?  Maybe you're a go with the flow kind of person...  do tell!


  1. I love lists! They help keep me organised! But depending on the time of year, I have to go with the flow. With calving and lambing season around the corner. My chores for the day would revolve around a birthing critter. But I like the idea of a master list! Definitely going to try this approach!

  2. I should be a list person, and am for some things, as I am finding the older I am getting the more I tend to forget things.

    I will try and made a to do list out on Sunday of next week and see how I do.


  3. Oh Sherri I think you know I am a list person. :)

    You have be intrigued: "take paint in to be shaken" Take paint where to be shaken why??? And is this with the lid on or off?

    1. ROFLOL, Rose!!!!!!! I have paint leftover from painting our walls 3.5 years ago and it needs to be shaken so that I can use it to do some touch ups around the high traffic areas. If it isn't shaken, the touched up spots aren't true to colour and will show... Lids will be MOST definitely ON. I take my cans back to where I bought the paint from and they shake them for free :)

  4. I live by my lists! I buy the larger index cards by the 100 pack. I scratch off items....add new items. The lists help me accomplish more. Actually, I enjoy making my lists...am I crazy, or what?

  5. I'm also a list person - I usually have at least one going at any time. Nothing would get done without them! Right now, my to do list is: Blog; Build and test seedling-starter setup this weekend; and Take a photo of hubby and I for a guest blog post. Rhonda has such inspiring posts!!!

  6. I too use a list so I don't forget things that need to be done. I use one of those 3"x5" spiral notebooks. I carry it in the pocket of my apron when I'm at the house, that way I can jot down things that I notice needs to be done,but can't do it that day. I also use it to list things I need to get at the store on shopping day. When I go out I can stick it in my purse. I also carry it in the pocket of my gardening apron to right down things I need to do there also.
    I have always worked off a to do list, but Rhonda's idea for a weekly master list is something I will start doing.
    Susan from Michigan

    1. Good idea to carry a notebook with you in your pocket!